NIGERIA @ 61: Bury old prejudices, save Nigeria – Sen Mark

By Chimezie Godfrey

Former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has taken stock of the nation’s chequered socio-economic and political history and called on citizens to bury old prejudices to religion, tribe or ethnic leanings believed to be antithetical to development.

Senator Mark listed the misfortunes occasioned by the 30-month’s old Nigeria/Biafra civil war, several ethno-religious conflicts and agitations in some parts of the country as unfortunate incidents hindering developments.

In his goodwill message to Nigerians to mark the nation’s 61st Independence Anniversary, he noted that the security, socio-economic and political challenges bedeviling the country demands that “we bury mundane issues of attachment to religion, ethnic or tribal leanings and come together to rescue Nigeria from the precipice.”

More than ever before Senator Mark stated that there is need to harp on the issues that binds Nigerians together.

To this end, he tasked governments at all levels to do all that is necessary to restore hope and rebuild citizens’ trust and confidence in leadership to actualize the project Nigeria.

Senator Mark stressed, “Nigeria has all it takes to overcome the challenges but government must live up to its responsibilities in order to earn the trust and confidence of the people.

“The journey has been torturous though eventful in many respects. There is strength in our diversity. Our government, religious and traditional leaders must continue to preach the message of hope and reignite the can-do spirit of Nigerians.”

Senator Mark counseled against divisive tendencies and asked government to “ensue justice, equity and fairness in the distribution and allocation of resources to every part of the country to ensure that no section feels marginalized or shortchanged.

“I advise those fanning the embers of disintegration or war through hate speeches, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and other societal ills to sheathe their swords for peace to reign”, the former Senate President stated.

He pointed out that no matter the anger in a man’s mind, killing or destruction of property cannot be a solution.

According to Senator Mark, the road to justice may be slow but seeking redress through dialogue, judiciary or the legislature is a better option.